Welcome to Social Economy Arizona (SEAZ), an on-line hub designed to raise awareness about the concept, history and theory of the social economy in the United States, with the specific aim of promoting its identity and growth within Arizona and the American Southwest. Built collectively to foster knowledge and collaboration among a wide variety of community stakeholders, from University students and faculty to political and social entrepreneurs and activists, the key purpose of SEAZ is to combine scholarship on the social economy with personal and community action that transcends the academy.
The social economy includes individuals and organizations such as cooperatives, mutual benefit societies, associations, and social enterprises, which provide goods, services, and information to communities with the aim of generating both economic productivity and social solidarity.
In the video above, Vanna Gonzales, Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation talks with graduate student Carrie Bauer about the social economy. In addition to talking about its relevance for Arizona, Dr. Gonzales introduces the key goals of SEAZ.
Key Concepts Linking the Social Economy to Community Development:
- Social Innovation: linking technological and organizational innovations to social initiatives, processes and products to catalyze more dynamic social systems
- Economic Justice: fostering sustainable development to promote social solidarity and a more equitable distribution of productive enterprise
- Collective Welfare: promoting social inclusion and economic well-being through cooperative governance practices aimed at curbing the unfettered rule of the market
Social Economy Arizona includes a wide variety of content linking research and practice in areas that connect the social economy to community development, including but not limited to the following:
- Articles, reports and videos related to the concept, history and theory of the social economy, including key areas of research, conferences, blogs, and journal outlets.
- Financial, legal and organizational resources available to support social economy organizations. A comprehensive introduction to developing and sustaining cooperatives.
- Specialized support for activities relating to food and urban agriculture; affordable housing and community action; fair trade, recycling and reuse retail; and social policy and human services.
- A list of support organizations relevant for capacity and alliance-building.
- Maps of social economy organizations in Northern, Central and Southern Arizona as well as similar mapping projects around the globe.
- Ongoing news concerning relevant opportunities and events happening locally, regionally and nationally